Malawi: Government is Committed to Support Mothers - Kaliati
Lilongwe — The Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has said Government is committed to respect and support mothers in the country.
Kaliati was speaking during a joint press briefing to commemorate Mothers Day, World Rural Mothers Day and the International Year of the Women.
The 2015 Mothers day will be commemorated under the theme "Women empowerment is a drive to economic development".
"Government recognizes the role women play in the society and it is therefore committed to respect and support mothers and also to achieve a gender based violence free nation. Among various policies and programs, we have the cash transfer program targeting women and for government to achieve (GBV) let me call upon the general public to respect and support mothers at all levels," said Kaliati.
She however urged women to take a leading role in Family Planning, HIV and AIDS Sexual and Reproductive Health and education issues.
Kaliati further called upon all government departments, the private sector and the civil society to mainstream gender in their policies and programs.
The Minister finally thanked USAID, the UN WOMEN in Malawi and United Nations Food and Population Fund (UNFPA) and Norway for various programs targeting women and children in the country.
In her remarks, UN WOMEN Malawi Representative, Alice Shackelford said Mothers Day commemoration is vital for the country's social economic development.
She said issues of gender based violence are global and needed an integrated manner to reduce or to end the malpractice.
Said Shackeford, "Women's empowerment is not only about government and the UN but it's about the media, the academia, the private and public sector and everyone in general."
She said although there are a lot of challenges in gender issues there are opportunities to end or eradicate the malpractice.
Speaking at the same briefing, the Director of Research, Planning and Reform in the Malawi Police Service Commissioner Agnes Gondwe said Malawi Police service has mainstreamed gender in their programs.
She said the Police have also embarked on schools outreach programs to sensitize girls on gender based violence as a way of reducing the malpractice.
She advised parents and guardians to protect the girl child from sexual and other gender based violence in the communities.
Mothers Day will be commemorated on 15th October while the World Rural Day and the International Women's Day will be commemorated on 30th October at Mitundu in Lilongwe.
By Maston Kaiya